Wollongong City Gallery is currently showing Outlook, an exhibition of recent work by four local contemporary Aboriginal artists, Aroha Groves, Peter James Hewitt, Warwick Keen, Caroline Oakley, working across a variety of media, from 29 January – 3 April 2011.
Outlook explores the artists’ personal histories and their place in contemporary society.
Wollongong City Gallery has been actively engaging with local and south coast Aboriginal artists and communities for over 15 years. The experience of colonisation and the active intent by early colonial powers to eradicate Aboriginal culture had a devastating effect on Indigenous communities along the south coast of New South Wales, as well as other parts of Australia.
Gallery Program Director, John Monteleone, said that Gallery programs and exhibitions, such as the Pallingjang: Saltwater project (1997 – 2009), have fostered local and NSW south coast Aboriginal culture and provided opportunities for artists to look at their family and community histories, develop new personal and cultural languages and to tell their stories.
“The ability of local and south coast Aboriginal communities to not only maintain but continue to evolve and grow their communities under these difficult conditions speaks of the strength and resilience of the culture and people,” said Mr Monteleone.
“Outlook is the first exhibition at the Gallery by local Aboriginal artists that presents personal and community stories entirely through the prism of contemporary art language and practice.”
“The work of artists Aroha Groves, Caroline Oakley, Peter James Hewitt and Warwick Keen, while relating directly to their personal experience of community and directly informed by their Aboriginality, more broadly fits within the language and structures of contemporary art practice,” Mr Monteleone said.
Admission free, all welcome.